Lean methodology, Six Sigma methodology and Lean Six Sigma Explained

By Akanksha Harjai

Last updated on Jun 4 2020

Lean methodology, Six Sigma methodology and Lean Six Sigma Explained

Introduction to the concept of Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma methodologies

When a person starts to think about the fundamental principles of streamlining a business operation, they tend to discover what the process is all about through many mediums.

However, being here you at the right stop, as we will introduce you to the methodologies in Lean and Six Sigma

People with no experience in this field can also get an idea of what these methodologies are all by reading this article.


What is Lean? What are the Benefits of Lean Methodology?


Lean represents a systematic approach to reducing or removing work that does not include value to the process or method.

This methodology stresses the elimination of unnecessary steps in a process and the only steps to add value. The Lean approach ensures outstanding quality and satisfaction for the customers. It also promotes a continuous chain of improvements as it is a never-ending process of chunking out waste.


The lean methodology helps in various business activities and offers benefits such as -

  • Process cycle time reduction
  • Product or service delivery time improvement.
  • Gradual reduction or possible elimination of defect generation chances.
  • Inventory level reduction and
  • Optimization of primary resources that lead to specific improvements among others.


7 Wastes of Lean Methodology


In Lean, the 7 wastes are popularly known as the origin of all unprofitable behavior within an organization.

In Lean philosophy the best way to properly explain waste is as "Stuff that doesn't add value." Consumers wouldn't be able to pay for any activity that doesn't add value to what they essentially want.


  1. Defects

Defects are the most common of the seven wastes. Defects are not always the easier ones to be detected before they typically reach potential customers. Any mistakes made during production, or with the products themselves, come at a significant cost.


  1. Overproduction


Overproduction leads to high inventory levels which can obscure many of your organization 's complex problems. Batch processing, creating more supply than demand, etc. are two of the more destructive forms that overproduction can take in lean methodology.


  1. Transportation


The movement of products from one place to another is associated with as transportation. It is regarded as an apparent waste, as it adds zero value to the product.


  1. Waiting


During our daily lives, we continue to waste enormous quantities of time waiting for possible things. Time wasted waiting on an engineer or team member, is a particularly uncertain and pervasive form of waste, often through more bureaucratic processes, which can take a long time to remedy or minimize.


  1. Inventory


Inventory always costs money, as every single piece of product is tied up in raw material. The work in progress or finished goods in addition maintains a cost and until it is actually sold, that cost is of the business.


  1. Motion


The excess of 'action' is best described as some sort of needless movement-a computer requiring more energy than required to run, workstations being far apart needing movement between, etc.


  1. Processing


In lean, small is always better. The use of small suitable machines where they are required inflow is much more advantageous than large machinery which can stop a robust process for days to come.


What is Six Sigma?


Six Sigma is a collection of methods and approaches to process management.

With companies around the world, Six Sigma has become a global phenomenon.

Businesses use the six sigma methodologies to improve the overall operational efficiencies, whereas individuals use It for their career enhancement.

A Six Sigma qualification represents an ideal way to develop the skills as a leader of the organization. It helps restore business processes and also emphasizes full productivity in all service features, and focuses more on reducing process errors.


Popular Six Sigma Certifications:

Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Six Sigma Black Belt Certification

Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification

To get Six Sigma Training and Earn a Six Sigma Certification, chat with our six sigma course expert 


Six Sigma DMAIC process


DMAIC is the process improvement method of Six Sigma used for improving existing processes problems with unknown causes.

DMAIC is an acronym majorly used to Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. An integral part of an organization’s Six Sigma Quality Initiative is the DMAIC.


Difference between Lean and Six Sigma


Although often conflated, Lean Six Sigma is a more dominant methodology, Lean maintains a number of key differences as compared to the methodology of Six Sigma.

Six Sigma method and Lean have basically the same target. All are working to minimize waste and to build the most effective program possible.

However, both Lean and Six Sigma employ alternative approaches to achieve their goal.

The only difference between Lean methodology and Six Sigma is the identification of the major cause of waste, differently.

Lean practitioners claim waste comes from unnecessary steps in the manufacturing cycle that do not add value to the end product, whereas advocates of Six Sigma argue that waste stems from process variability.


Introduction to Lean Six Sigma

As stated by the American Society for Quality (ASQ),

Lean Six Sigma is a management theory centered on empirical evidence and centered on results, which emphasizes avoidance of defects over-identification of defects.

Lean Six Sigma works toward driving customer satisfaction and emphasizes on the results by reducing waste, variation, and cycle time. Six Sigma promotes the use of work standardization and flows, thus creating a competitive advantage.

The Lean Six Sigma technique applies anywhere where waste and variation exist and states that every employee must be involved.

It is the combination of two common quality Improvement methods, which are Lean and Six Sigma. This combination paves the way for service excellence.

These time-tested methods of lean six sigma provide businesses a straightforward path to accomplish their operational tasks as effectively and efficiently as possible.

It blends the Lean and Six Sigma methods to offer the best process results.

In this, Lean principles help in reducing or removing waste from operations and Six Sigma methodology concentrates on variation-process reduction.

Thus, lean six sigma principles help to improve process efficiency and quality.


What are the benefits of using lean six sigma methodology?


Businesses go through rising costs and unusual challenges every day. It provides a competitive advantage in the following ways:

  • Streamlining processes using result in improved customer experience and increased loyalty
  • Developing more efficient process flows to drives more extraordinary bottom-line results
  • Switching from defect detection to defect prevention reduces costs and removes waste
  • Standardizing processes leads to organizational “nimbleness” and the ability to pivot to everyday challenges
  • Decreasing lead times increase capacity and consistent profitability
  • Typically engaging longtime employees in the effort improves morale and accelerates people development


Lean and Six Sigma in Quality Management – Why is it Important?


We live in a very dynamic environment today. In this complex climate, a lean or six sigma approaches cannot bring about the maximum potential for necessary change if implemented in isolation.

Hence, when used in combination, Lean & Six Sigma integration provides for exceptional improvements. Traditionally the lean technique is used in this management strategy first to dispose of the waste in a process.

Later, the Six Sigma tools are typically used to improve variations in processes.

However in today's time, these two approaches go hand in hand. The aim of using this is to enhance procedures by reducing variability and disposing of waste. It is a cycle of continuous improvement, in which Lean methods and Six Sigma strategies both are involved during PDCA.

The extent of this methodology's approaches can vary depending on the complexities of the process or the improvement that is being sought. Combining these two methods assists in the development of streamlined processes with outstanding quality & results. Overall, this methodology improves profits on the bottom line and helps to meet business goals.

To know more about Six sigma related courses, chat with our expert

Suggested Course – Six Sigma Black Belt Certification




About the Author

Sprintzeal   Akanksha Harjai

Having a keen interest in writing, my fields of expertise include trend and research-based articles on technology, management techniques, and more. The focus is on making content simple, interesting and pleasant to read. The write-ups are aimed at appraising the readers about the current educational trends, exams, and certifications.

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